Getting Ready for the Holidays- Part 1

It’s that time of year! 

While most of us love the holiday season, we can easily do without the crowds, the commercialism, and the associated pressures.  In a few days many of us will be celebrating Remembrance Day, followed by Thanksgiving (for our American friends), Christmas and New Years while others may be celebrating Hanukkah or Kwanzaa. In addition to those of you who will be travelling to visit family or having family come visit you, many of us are generally involved in additional activities that revolve around work, the kid’s school events, and miscellaneous charities.There is only so much time available, so by simplifying and getting organized you can actually have some time to enjoy the upcoming holidays.

Late October, Early November

  • If you are traveling for the holidays, make sure you have started to finalize your travel plans; if you are driving make sure the vehicle has been tuned up, oil changed, & antifreeze levels and conditions have been checked
  • Start working on your gift giving lists, Holiday card lists, check up on your gift wrap, and shipping materials you have on hand / need
  • Set a Realistic Budget and write it down along with where the money is allocated
  • Post a Master Calendar with all the Holiday Events on it, where it is visible and able to be updated by all family members (make sure you add some down time for yourself)
  • Finish off your Menu Planning for each specific meal and get together at your place, or what you may be bringing to others
    • For the wine connoisseurs – select your holiday wines (including the ones that will be given as gifts) and purchase by the case to help save money
    • Inventory your pantry, refrigerator and freezer – make a comprehensive shopping list of necessities needed through the New Year. If you can buy everything upfront with the exception of perishable products (i.e. dairy, fresh meat, fruits and vegetables) you will save yourself a lot of aggravation.
    • While trying out a new recipe is great, you should try it out before hand – not on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.
    • Order party trays and specialty foods at least two weeks in advance.
    • Prepare as much in advance as you can, then freeze it if possible.
  • If you are planning on eating out, or having the meals catered – make sure you lock in the reservations as early as possible, if you wait too long you might be enjoying TV dinners or scrambling like mad.
  • Time to de-clutter your house; get it ready for your guests, give you room for your decorations, etc…

 Culled from the HRTC 2009